The nature of a criminal charge is only one factor considered when a court sets a bail amount following an arrest or prior to the arrest. There are numerous other factors, and applicable law, that the court must follow and take into consideration as well.
The purpose of bail is to ensure the defendant's appearance in court. A bail amount must not be set unreasonably high. The Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits excessive bail amounts. In other words, a defendant has a right to have a reasonable bail amount set unless charged with a capital offense.
Other factors that must be taken into consideration by the court are:
1. The defendant's length of residence in the community;
2. The defendant's employment status and history and financial condition;
3. The defendant's family ties and relationships;
4. The defendant's reputation, character and mental condition;
5. The defendant's prior criminal record, record of appearance at court proceedings, record of flight to avoid prosecution or failure to appear at court proceedings;
6. The nature of the offense and the apparent probability of conviction and the likely sentence;
7. The defendant's prior criminal record and the likelihood that because of that record the defendant will pose a risk of danger to the community;
8. The identify of responsible members of the community who will vouch for the defendant's reliability; however, no member of the community may vouch for more than two defendant's at any time while charges are still pending; and,
9. Any other factors indicating the defendant's ties to the community or bearing on the risk of the defendant's willful failure to appear.
If you, or someone you know, is facing criminal charges, or being held with a bail amount that cannot be made, contact Parkerson Santel PLLC, at 615-956-7938. We are located at 121 East Main Street, Murfreesboro, TN 37130.